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Why does my dog scratch so much?

(December 22, 2009)

There are several reasons why your dog may scratch itself a lot. Some of the major factors that influence the dog’s behavior are diet, health and its environment. All of these together play a major part in the dog’s behavior. Here’s why your dog may be scratching:

The dog’s environment:

A country dog, that is free to roam all over the country side, may have frequent encounters with plants like poison oak which cause rashes and itching on the skin. During their frequent outings, the dogs could also pick up parasites like ticks and fleas. The country side makes them susceptible to hookworms and roundworms as well, which cause a lot of itching.

A dog that spends a lot of time indoors may get allergic to the carpeting of the house or the cleaning products which are used on the floor or the carpet. If your dog lies around on the carpet a lot, try sprinkling baking soda on the carpet. This will usually make a difference in the dog’s itching. If the dog stops scratching after you have used baking soda, you can continue using the baking soda on the carpeting.

Sometimes, dogs may also become allergic to the detergents that you use for cleaning your dog’s sweater or blanket. Try changing the detergent you use and see the difference. Brushing your dog’s coat everyday can also help you keep the coat of the dog clean and free from any allergens or irritants. This also helps spread the natural oils on the dog’s skin so as to avoid a dry air condition inside the coat.

Dog’s Diet:

Dogs may often develop allergies to food. Refrain from giving your dog scraps from the table. Also avoid giving your pet chocolates, nuts and onions. Corn could also cause allergies in a dog. Dogs should be fed boiled meats without much seasoning and rice.

Dog’s skin health:

Grooming products are usually tested on dogs before being sold commercially. However, if your dog is scratching even more after a bath, it may have skin problems because of the grooming products you use. There are many grooming products for dogs with sensitive skin. You can try any of these products. Always try to pick out products that are hypoallergenic. You could also consult your veterinary doctor about which grooming products to buy for your dog.
Periodically check your dog for external parasites and ear mites. Also check for fungal infections or hidden sores which may have become infected.

Submitted by M A on December 22, 2009 at 04:43


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